The Bettendorf City Council unanimously approved an $84.5 million budget Tuesday for the upcoming fiscal year that maintains the city’s property tax rate.

To balance the budget, the council also voted to raise garbage fees by 3 percent. Alderwoman Lisa Brown, At-Large, voted no, saying now is not the time to raise fees. She said the budget could have been balanced with reserves.

Nobody spoke at a public hearing before the council voted on the budget, which includes money for hiring three firefighters, $1 million for the skyrocketing cost of road salt and $22 million in community improvement projects.

The budget also includes

4 percent raises for all city employees, both union and nonunion. The number of full-time personnel has not increased in the last five years, with

the exception of the new

firefighters.

Included in the community improvement projects is $450,000 for the downtown streetscape master plan, a blueprint for beautifying the central business district with new lighting, benches, landscaping and other enhancements.

The plan also includes a long list of road improvements, including redos of Belmont Road (Corral to Valley drives) Field Sike Drive (Devils Glen to Barcelona roads) with a

pedestrian bridge and 10-foot wide recreation trail, Hopewell Avenue (Devils Glen to Middle roads), the extension of Tanglefoot Lane from Dierks to Middle roads and more.

Money also has been budgeted for sidewalk improvements and renovations to the maintenance center, as well as sewer and stormwater projects.

Also Tuesday, the council:

Approved a resolution to sign a letter of agreement for a provisionally accredited levee designation with the Federal Emergency Management Association. It is necessary to re-accredit the Mississippi River levee in order for businesses along the flood plain to avoid the requirement of buying flood insurance.

Approved a site development plan by Specialty Auto Inc. to build a car wash near the intersection of Devils Glen and Belmont roads.

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